Here is a translation of the 4:59pmET statement made by Ricardo Rosselló, who is no longer the governor of Puerto Rico (translation by Natalia Rodríguez Medina):
Statements by Gov. Ricardo Rossello Nevares:
(August 2, 2019, La Fortaleza, San Juan) “After the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico approved the appointment of Pedro R. Pierluisi as Secretary of State, it will proceed in accordance with the rule of law in force. Therefore, according to Article 1 of Law No. 7 of July 24, 1952, as amended, Secretary of State Pedro R. Pierluisi will be sworn in as the next Governor of Puerto Rico.
Article IV, Section 7 of our Constitution reads as follows:
When a vacancy occurs in the office of Governor caused by death, resignation, removal, total and permanent incapacity, or any other absolute fault, such office shall pass to the Secretary of State, who shall hold it for the remainder of the term and until a new Governor is elected and takes office.
The Constitution also provides for the power to make appointments while the Legislature is not in session advancing to the office in property.
Law 7 of July 24, 1952, as amended, provides that it shall not be necessary for the Secretary of State to have been confirmed to assume permanent office. The Justice Department clarified in its presentation to the Legislature, when the law was amended in 2005, that the constitutional text does not require confirmation and that, in case of emergency, such requirement should not be demanded. This clarification was accepted by the Legislative Assembly.
Under this legal system, the Secretary of State, Pedro Pierluisi, being appointed in recess and the governorship becoming vacant, it corresponds that he is sworn in as the new governor for the rest of the present term.
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